Wood Door Finishes: So Many Doors to Choose From

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Having a door refinished can make any door, even one that is in far less than ideal condition, look much better. Doors that have been maintained can be restored to like new condition by being refinished, in many cases.

Door refinishing is sometimes taken up as a DIY task, but it’s actually rather complex. Professionals that handle these jobs perform a lot of different tasks in order to complete a door refinishing job and many of them require quite a bit of experience to do correctly.

From start to finish, however, this job can be done in the space of an afternoon, with some time required to allow any finishes to dry. It’s completely normal for doors to show damage from exposure to the elements, and they all take a little bit of damage from use. Having doors refinished provides a way to restore the protection that they originally had when they were first installed.

The Process

Professionals that offer door refinishing start by making a thorough inspection of the door. Minor repairs will be made by using putty or caulk to fill in imperfections.

After this stage is been completed, the locks set is taken off of the door. This allows further inspection and it allows the refinishing company to sand down the door, removing any finishes.

After this is completed, the stain will usually be applied along with varnish. Another coat of varnish may be added to the exterior, in some cases.

The door has to be allowed to dry, a process which usually takes anywhere between three and four hours to complete.

This part of the process requires skill, but actually choosing the correct finish requires equal skill and is an area where professionals offer some very real advantages over taking this on as a DIY project.

refinished wood door - Wood Door Finishes: So Many Doors to Choose From

refinished wood door


Door finishes, broadly speaking, include paint, stain and varnish. Each of these finishes might be selected for specific purposes and each has its own advantages.

Paint is a very commonly chosen finish. Paint completely changes the color of the door, which is desirable for some design schemes. One of the disadvantages of this, however, is that the wood pattern on the doors completely covered.

Paint is durable but also very difficult to take off of the door. If you want the door to be completely one color and aren’t concerned about the natural look of the wood, however, paint is a good option and there are many different colors to choose from.

Stain doesn’t bond with the door quite as tightly as does paint, which makes it easier to get off. Of course, that also means that stain doesn’t hold up as well as paint, and it is usually applied along with the varnish to give it an added element of protection.

Stain brings out the pattern of the wood and there are options that can really emphasize most any pattern. For those who want more coverage, there are options for stains that obscure the pattern to a greater degree.

After the stain is applied, it will be covered with the varnish. Varnish doesn’t change the color of the stain or the wood underneath it at all and simply adds a gloss or semi gloss finish. Varnish adds protection to the stain, helping it to hold up against the elements better.

A professional door refinisher will know what finishes your door needs, given what it’s made out of and the conditions it’s exposed to. Doors of Elegance can provide this service, whether it’s simply doing maintenance on a new door that’s recently been installed or restoring an old door that needs major work completed to look its best.